Category Archives: App of the Week

App of the Week – The U.S. Constitution: Analysis and Interpretation

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

This wewethepeopleek’s app is not flashy or life-changing, but it serves as an example of excellent educational content waiting to be discovered in the app store. History and law majors will certainly want to take note of this resource, but regardless of major or area of interest, you’ll feel like a well-informed citizen after downloading this app.

The U.S. Constitution: Analysis and Interpretation app is the mobile version of the legal treatise popularly known as the “Constitution Annotated,” or officially, Senate Document No. 112-9. The comprehensive treatise is a clause-by-clause analysis of the Constitution written by legal experts from the Congressional Research Service under the direction of the U.S. Senate. First published in 1913, the Constitution Annotated has been published as a bound volume every 10 years, with constitutional law updates every 2 years. With the launch of this app by the Library of Congress and GPO in 2013, not only has this valuable content become extremely accessible, portable, and searchable, but it enables updates of new case analysis multiple times a year.

ConstitutionTableofContents

Most Helpful Features:

  • In-depth keyword search function on the main menu that searches within the entirety of the document; you also have the ability to search within individual documents and sections within documents.
  • If the keyword search isn’t immediately helpful, there is an excellent index, table of contents, and table of all cases cited in the document.
  • The app allows you to export any documents to PDF and read within an e-reader app of your choice (e.g. Kindle, iBooks); the documents can also be emailed, AirDropped, or opened in Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, and more.
  • The app is self-contained, and with the exception of exporting documents to email or other apps, does not require internet access to use.
  • In addition to the main treatise, the app includes bonus content, such as the Constitution and Amendments in PDF form without any annotations; all Supreme Court cases related to interpretation of the Constitution; and “all federal, state, and local laws struck down by the Supreme Court,” including “all cases where the Court overturned its prior precedent.”

ConstitutionSearch

Downsides:

None that I can find—the app is simple to use, organized, and does exactly what it promises.

Bottom Line:

Whether you’re a student of history or law, or just interested in learning more about the law of the land, getting up close and personal with the Constitution is only a download away.

Further Reading:

There’s an App for This: The Constitution – Direct Access to Expert Analysis of the Supreme Law of the Land

Constitution Annotated (web version)

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Lauren D. Hall, Circulation Librarian

App of the Week – Evernote Scannable

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

evernotescannableIf you rely on Evernote and Evernote Peek for your notetaking, information organization, or digital flashcard needs, you’ll want to check out the newest companion app: Evernote Scannable.

While there are dozens of free scanning apps on the market, Evernote Scannable already has rave reviews, integrates seamlessly with an app people already utilize, and is faster and more sophisticated than the scanning feature built in to the original Evernote app.

Most Helpful Features:

  • Incredibly user friendly, and no set-up involved. Immediately upon opening the app, the camera loads. Point your device’s camera at any piece of paper, and Evernote Scannable digitizes it instantly.
  • The app highlights easy scanning of receipts and business cards (small objects that are easy to lose, but contain important information), but it also excels at scanning handwritten notes–and anything else you need to upload.
  • Lightning fast. PC Mag claims that Evernote Scannable is “faster than a pronghorn racing a cheetah.”
  • Handles lengthy or wrinkled papers with ease, and digitizes them masterfully.
  • After scanning, you can crop, rotate, or delete your image.
  • You can immediately export your scans to Evernote (and comes with an opt-in feature to automatically save every scan to your Evernote account), email, iMessage, camera roll, iCloud, Flickr, and more.
  • After scanning someone’s business card, the app will immediately find their LinkedIn page (if they have one). You can also add your LinkedIn account to the app to immediately connect with business card contacts.
  • Since it’s a completely independent app, you don’t have to connect the app to an Evernote account to use it–but if you frequently use Evernote, it’s a good idea to do so.

EvernoteScannable

Downsides:

  • This is not a full OCR app – meaning, it won’t read and understand the text scanned, so you won’t be able to keyword search through your scanned PDFs. However, it does “read” business cards, hence the “find contact in LinkedIn” feature.
  • You can’t adjust the camera focus, but the app does an excellent job of capturing the document at many angles/lengths.
  • The app does not store your scans long-term to “reduce clutter,” so you’ll want to make sure to export the scan to Evernote or another preferred method of storage.

Further Reading:

Evernote Scannable (Review)

Best iPad Apps: Evernote Scannable

Use Evernote’s Scannable App to Go Paperless in a Snap

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Lauren D. Hall, Circulation Librarian

 

App of the Week – RefME

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

This wlogoeek’s app, RefME, is a reference citation generator, which sounds incredibly boring–but trust me, it’s a game changer. As those of us who conduct research know, constructing bibliographies and reference lists for papers/articles in the desired citation style is a time-consuming affair. However, there dozens of citation programs out there, and a growing number of free/freemium websites out on the web. What makes RefME stand out among the other citation tools? In a nutshell–scanning technology and automation. RefME simplifies research organization in a way some reviews are calling “revolutionary.”

RefMEbarcodescannerMost Helpful Features:

  • Free! Software like RefWorks and EndNote are great assets to research, but they usually require expensive institutional subscriptions. However, if you happen to have a subscription to one of those already, you can actually export your citations from RefME.
  • Barcode scanner! Scan the barcode on the back of any book, print journal, or other resource, and your resource will magically appear on your bibliography page.
  • Easily find any citation by typing a few keywords. You can search by book/journal article title, DOI, ISBN, or ISSN. You can also copy and paste any website URL to create a reference in seconds.
  • Contains 6,500+ referencing styles (did you know that many citation styles even existed?).
  • Switch between styles with one click. So if you discover that you’ve completed your reference list in APA instead of MLA, your entire list will update automatically with no extra effort on your part.
  • If you do have to enter your citation manually, RefME supports dozens of types of sources–anywhere from “song” to “interview” to “scientific dataset.”
  • When you create an account, your list is synced and saved with refme.com and stored in the cloud, so you can access it from anywhere.
  • You can export your references from your app to email, Microsoft Word, Evernote, Mendeley and more.
  • The interface is incredibly easy to use.
  • According to RefMe, PDF, OCR and other features are coming soon.

RefMeBibliographyDownsides:

  • None that I’ve found so far. If you need help finding work to scan into RefME, USMA librarians are always ready to assist you with your research!

Bottom Line:

RefME is the citation management app we’ve been waiting for–correctly citing sources is only going to get easier from here on out. Remember, of course, to ALWAYS double check your work with an official citation manual. This is a great tool, but don’t leave your grade/professional work up to any one app. If you try RefME for your next project, let us know what you think!

Further Reading:

RefME is probably the best free app for university students out there

New app means students can create essay footnotes and references in seconds

RefMe app review: bibliographic entries made simple

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Lauren D. Hall, Circulation Librarian

App of the Week – Khan Academy

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

Khan logoAcademy, founded by Salman Khan in 2008, is a free educational site containing over 5,000 micro-lectures/tutorials on subjects ranging from line integrals and Green’s theorem to Symbolism and Art Nouveau. These aren’t lectures in the traditional sense, though–most tutorials simply contain an electronic blackboard with notes and illustrations that appear as Khan talks. The beauty of Khan Academy is the concept of “self-paced” learning, which differentiates it from the traditional one-size-fits-all lecture model. Students can pause, rewind, fast forward, and review lectures as needed. They can also take quizzes and do exercises to test their knowledge, check their progress in a subject, earn badges for leveling up in a subject, and more. If an instructor is using Khan Academy to teach their material, they can access their students’ progress, too, and determine exactly which concepts their students are struggling with.

KhanProfile

Chances are you’ve already heard of Khan Academy, and perhaps you’ve used it to clarify fundamental concepts in physics or figure out a difficult calculus problem. Now that the semester is back in full swing, you may need a refresher in certain subjects–so here’s how you can integrate the app into your studies.

KhanLessonMost Helpful Features:

  • Access to all 5,000+ video tutorials on the regular website.
  • You can download videos to watch offline; perfect for traveling or studying on the go.
  • Most videos contain subtitles with an interactive transcript — so you can easily rewind or jump ahead in each lesson.
  • You can access your profile and progress in the app, so log in to receive credit and “energy points” for the videos you watch.
  • Pro tip: You can watch videos on the iPad while taking notes on your laptop, or vice versa.

Downsides:

  • Exercises are not built into the app itself, but they can be launched from the app into Safari. If you’re online, it’s a fairly seamless transition, but If you’re offline or want to use another internet browser, it’s not ideal.
  • You won’t get credit (assuming you’re logged in and tracking progress) for videos you watch offline.
  • The app can be buggy at times – for some reason, I haven’t been able to get subtitles to load on my app at all. The videos have always worked for me thus far.

Bottom Line: Khan Academy is an educational gem, and the app is, essentially, a portable mirror image of all the website has to offer. As always, if you use this resource, feel free to let us know what you think!

Further Reading:

Khan Academy – PC World Review

Khan Academy – Edsurge Overview

How Khan Academy is Changing the Rules of Education

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Lauren Dodd Hall, Circulation Librarian

App of the Week – Army GameDay Live

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

Are you anarmysportsjpg Army college sports fan looking for an easy way to keep track of Army Athletics? Do you need a way to watch Army-Navy from afar? This week’s app, Army GameDay LIVE, allows you to track not only Army Football, but ALL of Army’s talented sports teams in one simple, easy to use app.

Army GameDay LIVE, which is the official app of Army Athletics, is an intuitive mobile tool that provides access to the latest stories, scores, and Army sports updates.

The headlines screen uses a simple scrolling feed to feature the latest Army athletic news for all sports:

HEADLINES

Just select a byline, and the news story pops up in an easy-to-read screen. Tap to close in order to read the next story you select. Find a story you would like to share? You can AirDrop, Mail, or copy the story by tapping on the upload icon in the upper right corner of the story.

NewsStory

Most helpful features:

  • The app is visually appealing and easy to navigate.
  • If you are not able to attend every Army game, you get an up-to-the-minute game day visual through Game Tracker live scoring integration. This is a plus when you are on the road!
  • The Events Calendar displays Army Sports for the day, with times and location in an easy scrollable display. This allows you to find the specific Army Sport you are looking for and get an instant update.
  • The sidebar tabs are helpful and useful – you can choose any Army sport to get specific news and game information; a Twitter tab congregates all of Army’s social media sports updates (photos and more); a tickets tab to get you to the game in person, and a store tab allows you to buy that all-important Army Sport Team wear!
  • The app provides information on the facilities for each Army sport, including seating, parking maps, and directions.
  • You can set up mobile alerts to ensure you don’t miss the updated score!

Downsides:

  • Premium content for streaming is per subscription pricing through CBS sports network. You cannot stream live audio without a premium subscription. A work around: listen to Army Sports on local radio via a streaming app on your computer, phone, or iPad while watching the visual integration on Game Tracker.

Bottom Line: While the app does require you to pay for premium content (and local CBS affiliates usually carry Army Football, so you’d be paying for free content in that case), this free app provides one-stop comprehensive coverage for any Army sports fan.

Further Reading:

GO ARMY, BEAT NAVY!

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Darrell Hankins, Reference Librarian

 

App of the Week – Zinio

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

Zino1

If you are a magazine lover and have an Army Knowledge Online (AKO) account, and the idea of having free access to over 200 subscriptions sounds appealing, then this week’s app is for you. Zinio is a digital newsstand that allows you to read full copies of your favorite magazines on a computer, tablet or mobile device using the free Zinio Reader app. Once a title is checked out, it is yours to keep – forever! For titles accessed through the USMA Library/Army, there is no limit to the amount of magazines you can check out and no waiting periods because multiple people can simultaneously borrow the same title at the same time. Many popular magazines are available through Zinio – such as: Newsweek, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Popular Mechanics, Esquire, National Geographic, Popular Science, and ESPN the magazine.

For those of you without an AKO account, you can still use the Zinio app, however, you must subscribe to magazines you are interested in viewing.

To access magazines via Zinio and the free Zinio Reader app you must create two separate accounts.

First, you create a library Zinio Collection account using the AKO library services page, and then a second, personal Zinio.com reader account to view the magazines. Here’s how it works!

Login to AKO – and select – Self Service – My library.

ZinioAko

Scroll down the page and select the Zinio Icon.

Zinio2

You should now see the Zinio Collection page. To access these titles – Select “Create New Account” from the top right of the screen.

You will be prompted to enter an access key – use AKO and complete the registration form.

Zinio5

Now you are ready to check out a magazine! Browse the titles, and when you find one you want – click on it. You will see the word “Success” as a confirmation of check out. Next – to “Start Reading” – you will have to create a SECOND, personal account – which will allow you to read the magazine in Your Library tab on Zinio.com or the Zinio Reader app.

Now install the Zinio Reader App on your device to read your magazines. Sign in using the second, personal reading account you created to download and read your magazines.

Zinio7

More helpful features:

  • No waiting or checkout periods.
  • Interactive elements such as audio and video.
  • Multiple viewing platforms (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.).
  • Intuitive searching and navigating within each magazine.
  • Current Issues — new issues are released simultaneously with the print edition. Many are available before they arrive at your library and are ready for immediate download.
  • No limit – permanent check out — check out as many issues as you want and keep them in your account as long as you wish.

Downsides:

  • You can only use the Zinio app to read your magazines.
  • You have to manage your account on a Web browser (to browse, check out or permanently delete library magazines).
  • Mobile devices with small screens may cause slow loading or prevent loading of content altogether.
  • You need to download the magazine to read it – requiring internet/network access.
  • If you download too many magazines, it can take up lots of storage on your mobile device.
  • There is a monetary subscription service offered through Zinio.com, which can cause confusion if you only want to access free titles through the library. If you need help figuring out what’s what, please ask!

Bottom Line:

Using the library’s Zinio magazine subscription service provides you with access to over 200 magazine titles for free. Use the Zinio reader app to store and read selections at your leisure. If you need any help accessing Zinio through AKO, please let us know – and as always, feel free to let us know what you think!

More information:

Zinio for Libraries Overview (8 minutes)

Zinio Magazine Newsstand & Reader | PC Mag Review

Is Zinio Pushing Digital Publications Forward?

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Karen Shea, Reference Librarian

App(s) of the Week – Civil Engineering Magazine AND the ASCE 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

ASCE logo

When you attend college at West Point, a place known far and wide as an “Engineering School,” you’ll certainly be taking at least a few classes in the discipline of Civil Engineering (CE). Even the most basic CE courses, meant for non-CE majors, will have content that covers building construction, utilities, bridge design, transportation systems, and other large-scale projects – and wouldn’t it be nice to have some apps that could get you up to speed on these topics? Well – we’ve got some to suggest today!

CE Mag App

First, the Civil Engineering Magazine App, which does exactly what its title promises: delivers the latest issue of Civil Engineering Magazine to your device. The paper copy of the magazine, ASCE’s flagship publication, is free to members of ASCE, and available through a paid subscription to non-members – but ANYONE can create a free ASCE account and read the latest issue free via this app. Simply download the app from iTunes or Google Play, and when prompted to sign in, either create an account, or sign in with your existing membership # if you are already an ASCE member. Once you are in, the latest issue will download, and voila! The entire issue, with articles, reviews, ads and member information is at your fingertips. Read all about the latest happenings in the CE world, from projects like bridges, dams, and highways, to news about well-known firms and engineers, to insight on how Federal and State government policies affect design, construction, and the profession of Civil Engineering.

ASCE Report Card 1

Next, the ASCE 2013 Report Card on America’s Infrastructure.  The American Society of Civil Engineers prepares this report card periodically, and for the first time, it’s available as an interactive app for your smartphone or tablet. As a Civil Engineering student (or instructor!), it’s important to know about the current state of our country’s infrastructure, and this app will get you up to speed on just what grade the ASCE gives to our various infrastructure systems (highways, dams, drinking water, solid waste, etc.). The app provides the full content of the 2013 Report, enhanced for viewing on your device – with videos that explain the extent of our infrastructure systems and their importance to our lives, and outline where they are either succeeding or falling into disrepair, while providing links to data that further explains the conclusions of the report. With participation from government officials and noted engineers and planners, the introductory video gives a concise overview of the current condition of America’s infrastructure, and where and why much improvement is necessary. Those statements are backed up with the evidence in the report’s text and data, presented with clear and informative graphics, and with features that provide news feed updates so that the very latest information is available to the reader.

ASCE Report Card 2

Best features of the 2013 Report Card on America’s Infrastructure:

  • Excellent graphics, with plenty of videos and data (charts, statistics, financial information) to break up what could otherwise be a dry text-heavy report. Lots of interaction.
  • Specific information on infrastructure in each state (when available), which makes the report’s information easily relatable.
  • News feeds will provide real-time updated information on the issues and projects addressed in the report.
  • Pages can be bookmarked for easy referral, and shared via social media.

 Downsides:

  • Perhaps the greatest one is learning that America’s infrastructure, according to ASCE, is not in great shape – however: that means there’s plenty of work for engineers, both in and out of the Army, so maybe that’s the silver lining.
  • Information-heavy; although you can choose to read it a section at a time, there’s a LOT in this report, and it will take a while to get through completely.

Bottom Line:

While the CE Engineering magazine app and the 2013 Report Card are designed to deliver slightly different information, together these two apps provide a great way to stay current on the developments and state of affairs of both the engineering profession and the infrastructure we rely on as we go about our daily lives.

Further Reading:

Press release from ASCE for the 2013 Infrastructure report

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Laura Mosher, Reference and Liaison Librarian

App of the Week – Flipboard

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

For those of flipboardus who get our news online, we tend to either go directly to our designated news sources one at a time, or absorb several headlines while scrolling through social media feeds. Flipboard wants to be the app you didn’t know you needed–your one-stop, personalized source for news and more.

 

flipintro

flipsports

Flipboard is an aesthetically pleasing magazine-style news-aggregator that can also include stories/photos gleaned from your social media feeds (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, to name a few). The app has been around for a few years now, but it continues to gain users at an incredible clip (250,000 a day), while continually adding to and improving its features.

flipfollow

 Most helpful features:

  • You can choose from over 34,000(!) “topics” that are already curated for you, such as sports or science.
  • Add your favorite blogs, or any other kind of feed, and “flip” it to a particular board or new “magazine.”
  • You can share articles through email, text, and other social media outlets right in Flipboard.
  • A new element, called Daily Edition, is a curated summary of big headlines that arrives at 7 am local time, and updates automatically throughout the day.
  • You are able to export a story to your “read it later” app of choice, such as Pocket, Evernote, etc.
  • You can mute sources you never want to see news from.
  • There are lots of nice customizing features, such as the ability to choose which browser a news story opens in.
  • There is a social component, where you can follow fellow Flipboard users, comment and like stories, “reflip” their stories, and more.
  • You can get push notifications (or turn them off) for almost every interaction – likes, comments, “reflips,” breaking news, etc.

 Downsides:

  • You can’t simply use it as a visual RSS reader, where you only add the feeds you’re interested in–it’s much more than that, but you can follow individual news sources you don’t want to miss.
  • You can’t read articles offline within the app, but as mentioned earlier, you can export them to your favorite “read it later” app.

Bottom line:

Flipboard has over one million users who curate and aggregate their news sources in the form of virtual magazines, which are easy to flip through, read, save, and share. If you curate your personal news feed through Flipboard, let us know what you think!

Further Reading:

Flipboard (for iPad) Review

Flipboard 3.0 lands as personalised, smartphone-centric update

Flipboard debuts a big redesign and The Daily Edition, a morning news section

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Lauren Dodd Hall, Circulation Librarian

 

App of the Week – Unstuck

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

Have you ever unstuckprocrastinated on a project or goal so long that you don’t even know where to start? Do you feel frozen, unmotivated, or uninspired? Are you simply tired or lazy, or is it something more? This week’s app, Unstuck, vows to help you “live better every day,” by allowing you to analyze the obstacles in your path to productivity, growth, and change. Unstuck uses a question and answer system to diagnose your “stuck moments,” then offers specific guidance and action you can take to move forward with your life. Stuck moments can be anything–they can be completely mundane, such as procrastinating on a homework assignment, or they can be part of larger goals or milestones, like pursuing a leadership position or buying a house.

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stuckmoment

 

toolsMost helpful features:

  • Aesthetically pleasing and easy to use – simply choose “New Stuck,” and answer the questions by tapping, dragging, or typing. The format makes it pretty fun to use!
  • In addition to the main stuck moment question-and-answer, the app provides 11 free tools and 50+ tips to get you started on a course of action
  • Allows you to factor in other people into your stuck moment, and uses a further line of inquiry to help describe those relationships
  • If you want to share your stuck moment publicly, you can upload photos and voice recordings
  • You can share your stuck moment diagnosis by posting it to Facebook, Twitter, or sending it through email, all within the app

Downsides:

  • After your first stuck moment guidance, the app continually compels you to register, which is a little annoying–but registering allow you to save up to 10 stuck moments and revisit them anytime.
  • Will definitely take several minutes to get through, especially if you’re honest and add in each layer carefully

Bottom Line:

This is one of those hands-on apps you simply must download and try out for yourself – I know I haven’t even seen half of what the app has to offer in terms of advice and resources. Using Unstuck will require a little bit of time, but if you’re procrastinating anyway, why not try it out and see if it makes a difference? As always, if you check it out, we’d love to know what you think.

Further Reading:

Unstuck: The iPad Productivity App of the Year

Unstuck: Find Your Motivation and Be Inspired

App Review: Unstuck for iPad

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Lauren Dodd Hall, Circulation Librarian

App of the Week – NYPL Biblion: Frankenstein

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

Happy Hallbiblion_frankenstein.previewoween! This week’s app highlights an incredibly in-depth, innovative resource from the New York Public Library–an interactive online exhibit called NYPL Biblion: Frankenstein.

Whether you’re reading Frankenstein for class, teaching the novel, or simply looking to explore new layers of a classic, culturally-influential text, NYPL Biblion: Frankenstein has something for everyone.

The app is fairly easy to navigate, but its structure is meant to encourage exploration, so the format isn’t linear. When your iPad is in portrait mode, you can scroll through various themes, and tap on each to find accompanying articles/galleries/resources on that theme: Creation & Remix, Cultural Interpretations of Frankenstein, Shelley’s Ghost, and Outsiders. If you’re a student working on your Frankenstein essay, the critical essays are a can’t-miss feature.

IMG_0082

If you flip the iPad to landscape mode, you’ll find primary source documents like Mary Shelley’s handwritten draft of Frankenstein, a scanned prologue of the 1831 edition, Percy’s Shelley’s early handwritten poems, correspondence and other short works. Unfortunately, the handwritten sources are fairly difficult to read, but the app has zoom-in capabilities, as wells as typed transcripts for most of them. frankenstein2

 

frankenstein3

This is the second app in the Biblion series. In 2011, the New York Public Library released NYPL Biblion: World’s Fair, highlighting a detailed history of the fair with its new interactive iPad format. Reviews praised it for “[bringing] history into life” and thoroughly exploring the historical significance of the event. We encourage you to check out both apps in the series thus far, and immerse yourself in these collections.

The only real downside of the this incredible free resource is that there is no search function – you must sift through the app “manually” to find what you’re looking for. However, I think that’s probably a crucial part of the design – after all, “not all those who wander are lost.”

Further Reading:

NYPL’s Biblion ‘Frankenstein’: annotating one of literature’s greatest monsters

Educade: NYPL Biblion Frankenstein

Did the New York Public Library Just Build the Magazine App of the Future?

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Lauren Dodd Hall, Circulation Librarian